Oil prices slump as Suez Canal container ship starts to move

An oil rig and pump jack in Midland, Texas, Oct. 9, 2018. (AP)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Oil prices dropped more than $1 on Monday after news from the Suez Canal that salvage crews have managed to move the giant container ship that has been clogging up the vital global trade passage for nearly a week.

Brent oil crude was down $1.03 at $63.54 a barrel by 0657 GMT, while U.S. crude fell $1.25 to $59.72 a barrel.

The stranded container ship Ever Green has almost been completely floated and will be inspected before it is moved, Reuters cited a shipping source with knowledge of the matter as saying.

Hundreds of other container ships, bulk carriers and oil-laden tankers remain backed up at both ends of the canal, but news of the ship’s movement immediately sent oil prices sharply lower after they had traded slightly down for the morning.

Prices are getting some support from expectations that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies will maintain lower output levels when they meet this week, according to Reuters.

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